'To serve and help:' Salvation Army lodge takes added steps to protect guests from COVID-19

MILWAUKEE -- During a time where many are considered to be safer at home, some folks in southeastern Wisconsin don't have one to retreat to.

Salvation Army Emergency Lodge

Steven Woodard, a major with the Salvation Army, says the organization's emergency lodge is currently housing about 100 guests.

"The goal is to continue to serve and help people and that is what we are doing," Woodard said. "We continue staying at maximum capacity at the shelter because need knows no season. People are struggling and need a place to stay with the best way to keep everyone safe through the process."

With temperature checks and masks, it's a process that's been thorough at the facility.

"We've been still hand sanitizing areas, hand washing other kinds of areas we've put up COVID-19 precautions," he said. "When we have individuals when they get referred to us, they get put in quarantine right away."

Salvation Army Emergency Lodge isolation room

During the past couple of months as numbers spike in Milwaukee, Woodard says there has only been one case at the lodge recently.

Steven Woodard

"There was a family that had come in and one of the individuals in that family had tested positive as asymptomatic, but they are still in quarantine at the moment," he said.

Meanwhile, other guests are no longer in communal spaces. Food is now being brought to their separate rooms, and laundry facilities are being used to help stop cross-contamination.

Salvation Army Emergency Lodge laundry facility

"I think that shows a true testament of the staff working so hard, and Salvation Army diligently trying to keep things clean and practicing that distancing," said Woodard. "It really takes a team effort and they are doing a great job, even the residents, trying to work hard keeping themselves safe."

In addition, Woodard says staff monitor those who go off to work or have medical appointments and even provide support by picking up medications, as they do what they can to help minimize their contact.